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Bisons soccer team looking for defensive improvements

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In college soccer fall is for winning games and spring is for making the necessary adjustments to be able to win the next fall.

The Lipscomb Bisons started their spring season Saturday in Evansville, Ind., tying the University of Kentucky 2-2 and beating Evansville 1-0.

“Our fall season is so condensed that there is not a lot of room for individual player development,” coach Charles Morrow said. “Spring is a time we can work on deficiencies with players.”

Goal scoring has not been a major concern for the Bisons, but Morrow admits he wants to spend much of the spring tweaking the defense.

“If you look at us as a team the last four years the problem hasn’t necessarily been goal scoring,” Morrow said.

The Bisons lost Miguel DaSilva, an offensive force, who has returned to his home country of Angola to play professional soccer. But they return Garret Pettis, a first team All-Atlantic Sun performer last season who tied for the team high in goals with eight and points with 19. Nick Bibb, a freshman who got stronger as the season progressed, finished with two goals and four assists for eight points.

“Andrew Chamberlain has played out wide the past couple of years, but we are looking at him up top as well this spring,” Morrow said. “He has done a great job.

“He might not be the best finisher on the team, but nobody hits the ball harder. With his personality and the way he plays that playing up top might suit him better.”

Morrow used several freshmen last year on the back end and expects some of his incoming freshmen to also help bolster the defense.

“I think that our team defense and our backs have to be a point of emphasis,” Morrow said. “I wouldn’t say it is an area we have struggled in. But it is an area we can point to and say if we get better in that area we are going to win more games.”

Kevin Barbar, a center back, was named to the A-Sun All-Freshman Team for 2010. Isaac Pile, recruited as a goalkeeper, also played center back.

“They both are hard-nosed players who communicate well,” Morrow said. “We are able to work with them this spring on being better distributors.”

Coaches who recruited Pile in high school did not project he would be a center back.

“Pile covers so much ground,” Morrow said. “He is so athletic. He plays so hard. Certainly, there are some things to be cleaned up with his play but he is working hard on those things as are we.”

Morrow has also liked what he has seen from goalkeeper Brent McGee this spring. McGee earned a berth on the A-Sun All-Tournament Team.

“I think the thing he struggled with early on in the fall was his consistency,” Morrow said. “As the season wore on he did much better. He was playing his best at the end of the season. It is good him to get some playing time outside of training this spring.”

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations